Stephan Ouaknine is the founder and Managing Partner of Inerjys. With over 20 years of proven experience as an entrepreneur and investor, Stephan has been a visionary leader across multiple technology sectors, from telecommunications to clean technology. His career has spanned three high-tech ventures, working arduously on-the-ground to create significant shareholder value with three successful exits. He is known for his dynamic, results-oriented style and his commercialization focus in building self-sufficient and profitable companies. Stephan founded Inerjys with the insight that new deployment approaches and innovative technologies could overcome the challenges of the cleantech sector and power a better tomorrow.
Prior to Inerjys, Stephan founded Blueslice Networks, a leading provider of evolved Subscriber Data Management (eSDM) solutions for telecom carriers. Stephan led Blueslice from its foundation in 2001 until its acquisition in 2010 by Tekelec (NASDAQ: TKLC), which was subsequently acquired by Oracle (NYSE: ORCL). Stephan’s other successes include Emblaze (LSE: BSD), a next-generation mobile multimedia company which reached a $6 billion valuation during his tenure, and Airslide Systems, a leader in next generation signalling which merged with Cantata Technology and later acquired by Dialogic (NASDAQ: DLGC).
Stephan is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, the TED community, a speaker at the United Nations’ annual COP and a recipient of the Annual Honoree Award from the Canadian Technion Society. Considered as a thought leader, he is frequently invited to keynote speaker sessions on entrepreneurship, investing and the clean energy sector at global events. Stephan also currently sits on 6 company boards, including 2 as Chairman.
Dave Furneaux has spent his 20 year career as an entrepreneur, investor and venture capital fund manager. During this time, he has played active roles in building some of the leading technology and Internet companies in North America. He also started and operates 2 investment companies; Furneaux Capital Holding Company, LLC and Kodiak Venture Partners.
A sample of successful companies include Aironet (IPO and acquired by Cisco Systems), ALIS (acquired by Karl Zeiss), Auroranetics (acquired by Cisco Systems), Enfora (Acquired by Novatel), Extreme Packet Devices (acquired by PMC-Sierra), Philsar (acquired by Skyworks), RMI (acquired by Broadcom), Smartcells (acquired by Merck) and Watchfire (acquired by IBM). Recent successes from Furneaux Capital and Kodiak Venture Partner's investments include BLAZE.io's acquisition by Akamai, WHERE.com's acquisition by EBAY and Channel Advisor's IPO on the NYSE.
Areas of interest include Internet and communication technologies, agriculture and food technologies and sustainable power generation.
Mick brings 18 years of professional services experience to Inerjys, and is responsible for both operations and marketing. Mick founded Twist Image in 2000, grew it to one of the largest Digital Marketing agencies in Canada which was later acquired by WPP in 2014. As an entrepreneur who successfully managed an exit, Mick has seen all sides of the entrepreneurship journey. Throughout his career, Mick has worked with Fortune 500 companies in developing business strategies, marketing plans and has helped them transform their companies into the digital age.
For the past 8 years, Mick has sat on charitable and early-stage investment Boards, and mentored entrepreneurs. As a result, Mick not only brings his entrepreneurial experience to Inerjys, but he also brings the insights and learnings spanning across the diverse scope of industries he has worked with over his career. This vast experience is instrumental in helping the Inerjys portfolio companies with their commercialization challenges while also advancing the growth of the Inerjys team and portfolio.
Hozefa brings in over 13 years of experience from roles in development, commercialization and financing of technology and projects, including over 8 years of transactional experience in venture capital and private equity while working for funds such as the Oman Sovereign Wealth Fund and IFCI Ventures. His investing experience spans several industry sectors including technology, manufacturing, infrastructure and real estate.
Earlier in his career, he has worked on critical operational roles in a venture capital funded organization where he led teams working for blue chip technology clients. Later, he worked at General Electric Global Research on technology commercialization and intellectual property licensing projects in cleantech and advanced materials.
At Inerjys Ventures, Hozefa plays a leading role in sourcing and evaluation of investment opportunities, building productive relationships with current and prospective investee companies, investors and strategic partners. He is tasked with growing Inerjys Ventures’ portfolio of impactful cleantech investments and simultaneously attract like-minded global investors who aim to benefit from the double bottom-lined returns characteristic of this asset class.
Hozefa holds a Bachelor of Technology from IIT Delhi and is a Post-Graduate in Management from ISB. He is also a CFA Charterholder. Hozefa has earlier lived and worked in Asia and Europe, his last assignment was in the Middle East in Dubai and Muscat before he chose Montreal as his destination. His interests are traveling, political economy and technology; however, his efforts to become a Montreal Francophone are expected to trump them all for some time.
Jennifer brings over 15 years of capital markets experience to Inerjys, with previous roles in equity research as well as institutional relationship management covering large, US-based financial institutions. Her role with Inerjys is to build out and manage our relationships with portfolio companies as well as institutional investors – including consultants, pensions, foundations and endowments who are focused on clean technology and impact investing.
Additionally, Jennifer worked as a sell side equity analyst covering growth stage companies as well as larger, more mature industries. She has also provided strategic counsel to corporate issuers on their positioning in the capital markets – specifically in presenting their corporate strategies and financial reporting to institutional investors.
Jennifer spends much of her time outdoors and is pretty much glued to her road bike in the summer months, while spending a good portion of the winter either on the slopes or curling.
Maya has over 2 years of extensive lab and field work experience researching biogeochemical processes in the context of renewable resource management. She worked as an International Project director for a student-run, community-based development organization at McGill University, where she managed a venture investment initiative and consequently developed and led a team of interns in completing a sustainable development project with an NGO in the Peruvian Amazon.
Maya holds a degree in Agricultural and Environmental Science, specializing in Renewable Resource Management, from McGill University. She is also a candidate in the CFA program.
Aside from spending extensive amounts of time in bogs or jungles, she also enjoys being a music writer for Graphite Publications, doing yoga, biking, and planning her dream diving excursion.
Jordan received his Bachelor of Environmental Science from McGill University, with a concentration in Earth Science and Economics, in 2018. During his tenure at McGill, he completed research for the University to inform their 2020 Carbon Neutrality Proposal and served as a Vice President of the McGill Environment Student's Society.
Jordan has previously worked in the solar industry, representing NRG in their New York residential community solar market. Jordan is the founder of an outdoor clothing brand focused on carbon neutrality. He is a Level II candidate in the CFA Program.